Six Broncs Honored by MAAC
Six Broncs All-MAAC
McKenzie First Team, Thompson Second Team
LAWRENCEVILLE-Six members of the Rider University men's and women's basketball teams were honored by the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference on the All-MAAC and All-Rookie teams.
For the Rider men, the second seed in the upcoming MAAC Championship Tournament, senior Jonathon Thompson (Orlando, Fla./Jones) was named to the Second Team All-MAAC.
"I couldn't be happier for my three captains Jon, Danny and Anthony being voted onto the All-Conference teams," said Rider head coach Kevin Baggett. "It is truly a testament to all their hard work throughout this season. Not only have they been good players on the court they have been great leaders off the court as well."
For the Rider women, the fourth seed in the Championship Tournament, junior MyNeshia McKenzie (Springfield, Pa./Springfield-Delco) was named First Team All-MAAC, Rider's first in 16 years in the conference.
"Getting First Team honors was the next step for MyNeshia," said head coach Lynn Milligan. "She obviously had a great regular season. She took another step to be a leader on this team and someone we can count on every day."
Senior Caitlin Bopp (Baltimore, Md./Inst. of Notre Dame) was named Third Team All-MAAC.
Freshman Mikal Johnson (Manassas, Va./Osbourn) was named to the MAAC All-Rookie Team, Rider's fourth All-Rookie selection in the last six years.
McKenzie, a Third Team selection last year as a sophomore and an All-Rookie Team pick as a freshman, is currently second in the MAAC in rebounding (9.7) and fifth in scoring (13.9).
McKenzie needs 27 points for 1,000. "Her game has evolved," Milligan added. "Scoring and rebounding and now steals, assists and blocks. She takes great pride in her defense and being one of the top rebounders in the conference. She is a well rounded solid player and still has room to grow."
Bopp, a former All-Rookie Team selection, is second in the MAAC in blocks (55), fourth in rebounding (9.0) and seventh in field goal percentage (45.8).
"Caitlin is capping off a really solid career," said Milligan. "A couple less injuries and she is a legit thousand-thousand (points/rebounds) player. I'm happy that she was recognized for a solid senior season. She is a versatile post player that is a tough matchup for a lot of teams."
Bopp is only the second player in Rider history with over 900 points and over 900 rebounds, entering the MAAC tournament with 935 points and 913 boards in 106 career games.
Johnson has made a team-high 37 three-point field goals, 12th most in the MAAC, and is averaging 12.3 points per 40 minutes played.
"With Mikal, the sky is the limit for her," Milligan said. "Her defense got better as the season went on. She understands the game better and put up some solid numbers. She is someone that the coaches have to put on their scouting report when they play us."
For the men, Thompson leads Rider in scoring (12.8), assists (99), steals (45) and minutes played (33.6) and leads the MAAC in three-point field goal percentage (43.1).
"Jon Thompson should seriously be considered for the Defensive Player of the Year award," said Baggett, the winner of 18 games as a rookie head coach. "Jon is asked to defend the opponents' best player all year long."
He has made 47 three-pointers in 30 games. In the 18 MAAC games Thompson is ninth in the conference in scoring (14.3ppg) as well as first in three-point field goal percentage (51.6) and third in field goal percentage (56.8).
"He's not only our captain, our point guard, a scorer for us, but also he defends the other team's best player night-in and night-out," Baggett said.
Thompson enters the tournament with 366 assists, eight most in Rider history, along with 906 career points.
Stewart is fourth in the MAAC in rebounding (7.3) and seventh in field goal percentage (48.1). Stewart ranks 13th in career rebounding with 675 and has 944 career points.
Myles has made a team-high 52 three-pointers and is 16th in the MAAC in scoring (12.2) and 18th in rebounding (4.6).
The Rider women play Niagara Friday at 3:30 pm in the quarterfinals.
The Rider men play Saturday at 7:30 pm in the quarterfinals against the winner of the Fairfield-Saint Peter's game.